Piers Morgan doesn’t think the Rolling Stones should remove the song “Brown Sugar” from their U.S. tour setlist over criticism of racist lyrics.
“Grow a pair, Mick (no apologies to any wokies offended by this phrase), stand up to the woke bullies, and sing Brown Sugar loudly and proudly at the rest of your shows,” Morgan wrote in a column for “Daily Mail”.
The online piece was titled: “I’m getting no satisfaction from seeing the Rolling Stones surrender to the woke brigade when the charts are full of rappers glorifying violent sex, misogyny and guns, why is Brown Sugar the song that’s deemed offensive?” Morgan called the Stones’ move a “cowardly climbdown.”
“Let me make the case for the defense on the Stones’ behalf: there is nothing racist about Brown Sugar,” Morgan continued. “It’s a song, as Richards says, that highlights the appalling historical reality of slavery, not one that celebrates it. It depicts female slaves being sold, whipped and raped in America’s south.”
Morgan defended the song and “the two men who actually wrote [“Brown Sugar”] in the first place and who have famously championed black music artists more than any band in history.” He also commented about the song’s background and disputed origins.
“Whatever the truth, Brown Sugar is demonstrably a song aimed at defending and supporting black women, not one that seeks to denigrate them or make light of slavery,” Morgan wrote. “But the woke-fueled narrative will now be that the song IS racist, so the Stones are therefore racist, and they’ve abandoned performing it because they accept these assertions. What utter nonsense.”
He also brought up the “ridiculous double standard being applied to what is acceptable in music lyrics.”
“Nobody dares go after rappers for fear they would be considered ‘racist,’” he wrote. “Yet ironically, many rapper lyrics are themselves appallingly racist.”
He concluded his article with a call to the band to stick to its rebellious roots.
“It’s very disappointing to see Mick Jagger of all people bow to the PC mob like this,” Morgan wrote.
All of the talk about the song and Morgan’s column sparked discussion and commentary on Twitter.
A political panel for talkRADIO in the U.K. discussed the meaning of the song and its reflection of cancel culture.
The Rolling Stones have dropped their hit 'Brown Sugar' from their US tour.
Journalist Benjamin Butterworth: "Some of these songs actually have a damaging effect on people's social attitudes and how they think about others."@benjaminbutter | @BenedictSpence pic.twitter.com/fck10yxsBh
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) October 13, 2021
One user weighed in on Morgan’s article, offering to set up more conversation about the controversy.
— Rebecca Ferguson (@RebeccaFMusic) October 13, 2021
The Rolling Stones didn’t play “Brown Sugar” in their most recent show on their resumed “No Filter” tour in the U.S. When Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times asked Keith Richards and Mick Jagger about it, their responses differed.
“I’m trying to figure out with the sisters quite where the beef is. Didn’t they understand this was a song about the horrors of slavery?” Richards said. “But they’re trying to bury it. At the moment I don’t want to get into conflicts with all of this s— … But I’m hoping that we’ll be able to resurrect the babe in her glory somewhere along the track.”
Jagger responded more casually than Richards.
“We’ve played ‘Brown Sugar’ every night since 1970, so sometimes you think, ‘We’ll take that one out for now and see how it goes,'” he said. “We might put it back in.”
The Stones last played “Brown Sugar” live at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami in August 2019, according to The Times.